New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll during the first quarter of the National Football League game between the New York Jets and the New York Giants, Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Jacksonville Jaguars warms up prior to the game against the Houston Texans
Left: Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images, Right: Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

NFL Best Bets: The NFL Returns With Big Week 1 Action

With the Buffalo Bills traveling to take on the Los Angeles Rams, Week 1 of the NFL season is officially underway.

Now, we look to the weekend and the 14-game slate, including Sunday Night Football.

With so many games to choose from, there are plenty of opportunities here to cash in. 

Week 1 of any NFL season can certainly greet us with some unexpected surprises, but we'll try to navigate through those to put some cash in your pocket by the time the weekend is over. 

Let's dive in. We've got four picks for you. 

Baltimore Ravens vs. New York Jets

New York Jets quarterback Joe Flacco (19) warms up prior to the National Football League game between the New York Jets and the New York Giants

Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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Pick: Jets +7 (-105) at DraftKings

It's official: The Jets will start Joe Flacco in not only Week 1 but perhaps even the first four weeks of the season as quarterback Zach Wilson rehabilitates his knee following his preseason injury. 

With that, this could cause some pause when picking the Jets against the Ravens, Flacco's former team. 

However, even at 37 years old, Flacco may be the more "stable" option at quarterback for the Jets.

Wilson is a young player who tries to make things happen with his legs and through the air. However, sometimes these decisions are somewhat ill-advised and can lead to turnovers, especially if he were to go against a Ravens secondary with fantastic players at all positions in the secondary. 

With Flacco, the Jets will have a much safer approach, utilizing rookie running back Breece Hall and allowing Flacco to utilize the Jets' weapons like wide receivers Elijah Moore, Corey Davis, Denzel Mims, Braxton Berrios, and more. 

The Jets have an offensive line that should be able to stand up to the Ravens pass rush that features Odafe Oweh, Michael Pierce up the middle, and aging veterans Calais Campbell and Justin Houston.

The defense for the Jets certainly has more questions than answers, but it does have Jonathan Franklin-Myers off the edge and draws a Ravens offensive line that should be improved but remains to be seen. 

We also can't forget cornerback Sauce Gardner, their No. 4 overall pick. He should see a steady diet of Rashon Bateman all game long.

The Ravens are a team that relies heavily on running the ball. Quarterback Lamar Jackson will hold his own after so much time off due to injury, but outside of him, this backfield doesn't have the main go-to guy.

Running back J.K. Dobbins should suit up, but he's far from being a high snap count guy, at least at the begin the season.

The Jets lose in the end but keep this one close. 

The Ravens win 23-17. 

New York Giants vs. Tennessee Titans

New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll during the first quarter of the National Football League game between the New York Jets and the New York Giants

Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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Pick: Over 43.5 (-115) at DraftKings

After this spread opened up around a full touchdown, the Giants would have been the pick, but that line has dropped to 5.5 making it tough to pick the points spread.

Instead, we look at a total of 43.5. 

In the NFL, 43.5 isn't exactly a ton of points, and these are two teams that match up well against one another to put some points on the board. 

Neither team really has an all-star studded cast, but it does have some standalone players that could make something happen. 

For the Titans, the No. 1 seed in the AFC from a year ago, they're due to regress. There's a lack of pass-catching options despite bringing in veteran wide receiver Robert Woods and drafting Treylon Burks. We can't discount quarterback Ryan Tannehill's ability, though. 

And yes, Derrick Henry is still there at running back and should see plenty of action.

Defensively, the Titans have some excellent safeties, and Jeffery Simmons is a great player along the defensive line. Still, the cornerbacks have more to prove, and, honestly, the rest of the defense. 

The Giants are somewhat intriguing, with Brian Daboll installed as the head coach. This year is "put up or shut up" for quarterback Daniel Jones, and he'll have a cost consisting of running back Saquon Barkley and wide receivers Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, and rookie Wan'Dale Robinson. 

Robinson is someone to watch for in this game. He was drafted much higher than draft pundits would've predicted, but that could spell a larger role in this Daboll offense, similar to that of Cole Beasley during his time with the Bills.

Neither team has a defense that should be feared. Yes, the Titans have good safeties, but outside of Golladay, who's almost guaranteed to be somewhat of a lost cause, the Giants don't project, with this current roster, to be a team that pushes the ball down the field as Toney, Robinson, and Barkley all operate near the line of scrimmage. 

The Titans will find ways to score with Tannehill at quarterback and Henry out of the backfield.

These defenses are going to allow some points. 

The Titans win 27-21. 

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Washington Commanders

Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Jacksonville Jaguars throws a pass before a preseason game

Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

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Pick: Commanders -2.5 (-110) at DraftKings

Yes, Carson Wentz is the starting quarterback for the Washington Commanders, and we all like to make jokes at his expense. Heck, in a way, this is somewhat of a revenge game for the former Indianapolis Colts quarterback who lost to the Jaguars in Week 18 last season to cost the Colts a playoff spot. 

Heading into this as just 2.5-point favorites, the Commanders are a no-brainer. 

According to Sports Insights, football games aren't all that likely to finish with a final score margin of less than three. In fact, they say that it happens less than 5% of the time for both 1-point and 2-point differences. 

Playing with those percentages, you're basically choosing who you think will win the game, and that's Washington for us. 

The Jaguars are under new management, with Doug Pederson taking over as head coach, but this team is still far from being a competent team in the NFL. There are some fine receivers in Zay Jones, Christian Kirk, and Marvin Jones Jr. Yes, the team has former No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence. He'll have his former Clemson teammate Travis Etienne back after missing all last season. 

However, they face a Commanders defense that was once considered one of the best in the league not too long ago. 

Overall it was a down year for them, but this squad still has Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, and Montez Sweat along the defensive line. In the secondary, they have William Jackson III, Kyle Fuller, and safeties Bobby McCain and Kamren Curl—these are all rock-solid players. 

On offense, the Commanders have an offensive line that will be missing Brandon Scherff after he signed with Jacksonville this offseason but still has more than competent pieces in center Chase Roullier, right tackle Samuel Cosmi, left tackle Charles Leno Jr., and more. 

Wentz can be a bit of an erratic passer. Still, at least he'll have Terry McLaurin on his side as well as No. 16 overall pick Jahan Dotson. 

Sadly, the team will be without running back Brian Robinson Jr. after a shooting earlier this month. However, they'll still sport Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic out of the backfield.

So, yeah, this spread of -2.5 is something you need to take advantage of. There are mismatches everywhere. 

New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons

Jameis Winston #2 of the New Orleans Saints looks on against the Seattle Seahawks during the fourth quarter

Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images


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Pick: Over 42 (-110) at DraftKings

A total of 42 with two division rivals in a dome is simply far too low. 

Part of this reasoning has to be because of putrid the Falcons are projected to be, which is completely understandable. 

However, when you look at this game through the lens of the Saints doing the majority of the heavy lifting, it changes the outlook on a fairly small totals line. 

Let's begin with the Saints offense.

Before getting injured and missing the entire season for all but seven games, quarterback Jameis Winston looked like a totally different quarterback compared to his 30-interception season in his last year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

However, this could be due to the lack of weapons he had at that point last season.

Heading into this year, Winston is back and healthy and will have Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry, and Chris Olave at receiver, along with Alvin Kamara in the backfield. 

With Winston at quarterback, this team should be able to put up some points this year.

Defensively, the Saints front seven should have their way with the Falcons offensive line. There are some solid pieces there, like guard Chris Lindstrom, but the rest doesn't stand a chance against Marcus Davenport, Cameron Jordan, David Onyemata, Demario Davis, and Pete Werner.

For the Falcons, there are some exciting pieces on offense, like tight end Kyle Pitts, rookie wideout Drake London, and running back/wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.

Quarterback Marcus Mariota isn't going to lead any MVP discussions. Still, he's far from a terrible quarterback and is mobile enough to pick up yards with his legs or keep plays alive.

That said, turnovers will happen in this game—the Saints are just too good—but the Falcons should find the endzone a couple of times.

The Saints win 28-17, and this total goes over

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